Here’s how to get your scented candles to burn longer
You either love them or hate them. When it comes to scented candles, there's no in-between. While some can't get enough of them, others just get a headache. I fall into the first camp. During the winter months, I light my collection of candles right at nightfall. The more the merrier. But scented candles can be quite expensive. The models from Jo Malone and Fornasetti have certainly left a dent in my wallet. So, I always try to get the maximum out of them.
If your candles are burning unevenly, you're letting them burn too short the first time you light them. It’s a typical beginner's mistake. The entire wax surface or burning plate must be completely liquid the first time you use it before you extinguish the flame. If you don’t do this, the candle will burn downward in a narrow ridge, like a tunnel that keeps getting deeper and deeper. This wastes precious burn time.
The wick of a candle should never be too long. Signs that it’s got too long include black smoke, the flame flickering, the rim of the glass being covered with soot or the wick bending. In these cases, there’s only one solution: trim the wick with scissors to about 0.7 to 1 cm in length. If the wick ever breaks off, for example, if you cut it when it's dry or if it's simply too short after cutting, don’t worry. Simply heat the innermost part of the candle around the wick and then pour out the liquid wax. Et voilà, your candle is good to go.
In addition to choosing the right model, the location is also essential. Not all placements are equally suitable for a candle. It’s best to place it on a flat surface and at a safe distance from the wall. Otherwise, the candle will turn the wall black. The same goes for any shelving. If you do place the scented candle on a shelf, make sure it’s always at the top. Provided, of course, the shelf doesn’t reach all the way up to the ceiling. You should keep in mind that draughts also shorten the burn time of a candle. Circulating air causes the flame to flicker and the wax to melt irregularly.
Never blow out a candle. This causes the wick to continue to glow and smoke to form. If you’re unlucky, the wick will be too short the next time you want to light it (see Tip #2). Instead, use a candle snuffer to smother the flame soot-free and avoid any wax splatter. It also prevents the wick from continuing to burn.
If, like me, you don't own a candle snuffer, grab a toothpick instead. Use it to briefly press the wick into the liquid wax and immediately straighten it again. With this makeshift method, the candle also goes out without smoke.
Most candle jars are much too nice to throw away. You can either repurpose them or give them new life with wax granules and a wick. I usually go for the repurposing option. I like using them as make-up brush holders. You can also use them as a decorative storage solution for cotton swabs or cotton pads.
Before you start using the candle jar for something else, carefully scrape out any wax residue with a knife. Then pour in hot water. Be careful not to burn yourself. As soon as the melted wax floats on the surface of the water, remove it and clean up the residue with a paper towel or dish cloth. Repeat this process a second time so that the glass is flawless. Have fun decorating and filling the jars!
Do you have any other tips for scented candles? Let me know in the comments. Check out our range of scented candles here.